Home > Rules & Laws > Is Non-Alcoholic Beer Classed as a Soft Drink?

Is Non-Alcoholic Beer Classed as a Soft Drink?

Wouldn’t it be interesting to grab a non-alcoholic beer and consider it the same as any other soft drink on the shelf?

Many people wonder where exactly non-alcoholic beer fits in as a beverage. Is it considered a soft drink, or does it fall into a different category altogether?

The straightforward answer is no, non-alcoholic beer is not classed as a soft drink. Let’s explore why.

Non-Alcoholic Beer and Soft Drinks: What’s the Difference?

Soft drinks are drinks that do not contain any alcohol and that are widely consumed by people of all ages. They are often carbonated and usually contain sweeteners, flavors or caffeine.

On the other hand, non-alcoholic beer is produced by either removing or limiting the alcohol content of regular beer to less than 0.5% by volume.

While it resembles beer in taste and appearance, its alcohol content is negligible, similar to some fruit juices.

However, its brewing process, ingredients, and purpose differ from traditional soft drinks.

How is Non-Alcoholic Beer Made?

Non-alcoholic beer is made using traditional beer ingredients like water, malt, hops, and yeast.

The beer undergoes a typical brewing process but is then heated to evaporate most of its alcohol content. Alternatively, it may be filtered to remove alcohol.

This process ensures that while the beer retains its flavor, it contains minimal alcohol.

Why Isn’t Non-Alcoholic Beer Considered a Soft Drink?

While both non-alcoholic beer and soft drinks may not have intoxicating effects, they are produced for different reasons and target audiences.

Soft drinks are sweet, usually carbonated beverages made primarily for refreshment.

Non-alcoholic beer, on the other hand, is made for those who want the taste of beer without the effects of alcohol, such as for religious or health reasons, or as a safer option when driving.

Furthermore, the methods of production, history, cultural significance, and marketing differ between the two.


Is non-alcoholic beer entirely free of alcohol?
No. Most non-alcoholic beers contain trace amounts of alcohol, usually less than 0.5% by volume.

Can children drink non-alcoholic beer?
While legally it may not be prohibited, it’s generally not recommended for children due to its taste profile and association with alcoholic beverages.

Why do people drink non-alcoholic beer?
People drink non-alcoholic beer for a variety of reasons, including religious beliefs, health reasons, or simply because they enjoy the taste without the effects of alcohol.

Does non-alcoholic beer taste the same as regular beer?
While non-alcoholic beer aims to replicate the taste of alcoholic beer, there may be subtle differences in flavor due to the alcohol removal process.

Is non-alcoholic beer healthier than soft drinks?
It depends on the specific products being compared. Non-alcoholic beer may have fewer sugars and artificial ingredients than some soft drinks, such as soda, but always check the nutritional information.


While non-alcoholic beer may resemble soft drinks in its lack of intoxicating effects, it isn’t classed as a soft drink.

Non-alcoholic beer and soft drinks have distinct histories, purposes, and production processes.